During a vigorous question-and-answer session that followed the budget presentation, topics ranged from budget cuts, to health-care reform to climate change.
One constituent defended the president?s idea of a single-payer health-care system while another pled for personal health savings plans that would keep medical decisions strictly between doctor and patient with no government involvement.
Huelskamp said the fundamental debate is about constitutional authority.
?It?s not about the issue of health care, it?s about the issue of liberty?can you let the federal government mandate exactly what you shall purchase?? he said. ?If you want to do that, then change the constitution, don?t try to go around it.?
Huelskamp extended the constitutional authority issue to include the Environmental Protection Agency, calling the EPA ?the single biggest impediment to job creation in the country at this current time.?
That led to the most energized exchange of the meeting as the topic shifted to climate change. Huelskamp declared his belief that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a health problem.
?Whether or not you think CO2 is hazardous to your health, the federal government has no authority to regulate CO2,? he said. ?If you want to do that, you better pass a law that says you can.?
Asked by one constituent if he believed there?s a scientific basis to support the concept of the greenhouse effect, he said, ?I agree with the thousands of scientists that disagree with your thousands of scientists.?
Huelskamp said one impact of proposed EPA regulations would be a transfer of jobs in the U.S. to companies in other countries that do not have the same emission restrictions, resulting ultimately in more emissions, not less.
?Are we going to embrace this problem (of climate change) or are we just going to ignore it?? a frustrated constituent asked.
Huelskamp said he disagreed that there is a climate-change problem.
?Then we?re done here,? the constituent responded. ?We have differences in the pursuit of truth.?